Unsplash; Grow Corp

Unbelievable! Unsplash: Amazing, free images that will take your content over the top

You know you have an incredible product, quality web content and an iron-clad social media strategy but you are still struggling to build the online following your business needs. How do you make sure your website is the one that gets noticed ahead of the competition.

Grow Corp

Photo Credit:  Aaron Burden – Unsplash

We live in a visual world. Your text, however compelling, well-researched and useful it is, will not stand much chance of getting noticed when it has to compete with the image-laden beauty on the next website.

Marketers will tell you that blogs that contain images receive 94% more views than blogs without images and social media updates containing images get far more likes, retweets, and shares than those without.

Get more views and hits

You want your message to stick in people’s heads? A well-chosen image will make your message much more memorable. Research shows that people retain much more information when it is combined with an image than when it isn’t.

Proper use of images also increases the chances of your website being found though organic searches and raises its profile in Search engines.

Find that winning picture

So how are you going to find that winning photograph that will draw your prospects irresistibly to you website?

A Google search will return a mixed bag of pictures many of which will be unusable due to copyright restrictions or poor quality.

Many online image repositories, such as Shutterstock, charge you for the privilege of using their photographs and what sees like small sums initially, can add up over the long-term. On stock photography agency Getty’s website it is not uncommon to pay upwards of $500 for an image!

All this makes Unsplash a powerful tool to have in your marketing arsenal.

Unbelievable Unsplash!

Unsplash is a repository of beautiful, free photos gifted by the photographers themselves. Over 41,000 professional and amateur or hobbyist photographers from all over the world share their original, high-quality images to this online community. The images are free to use and can be shared and uploaded to your website without restrictions. Whilst you are not required to credit the photographer when you use their photograph, doing so is appreciated.

Every photograph submitted goes through an extensive computerized check before being reviewed by an editorial team who select the best quality content to feature.

Whilst Unsplash originally started as a side project of Crew (a community of freelance designers) it became a separate company about a year ago.

There are currently over 200,000 images to choose from and the numbers are increasing every day. To date, there have been 200 million downloads from the site and it has received 20 billion views.

Share the goodwill

You may wonder what’s in it for the photographer. As well as the draw of being part of a global community that shares a common commitment to sharing and distributing exceptional photography with the world, many Unsplash photographers started off by using the site themselves for their own projects and decided they wanted to ‘give something back’. Unsplash photographers also get recognition and exposure through being featured on the site.

So go ahead and make your website stand out with an attention-grabbing photograph and know that in doing so, you are supporting a forward-thinking community of photographers who see the value of sharing their talents with the world.

5 Essential Steps to Developing a Killer Content Marketing Strategy

It’s no secret that content marketing works, boosting boosting SEO, creating opportunities for social sharing, building relationships with your audience and fostering trust in your brand.

So should you grab that keyboard and start writing? Not so fast. A good strategy is just as important as the content itself. A successful strategy can transform random content into an effective results-driven effort that leads to a positive ROI. Here are 5 steps to take to ensure your content will convert.

  • Consider your avatar – Take some time to consider the different types of people who make up your target audience. What issues are important to them? What makes them tick? Are there topics or keywords to avoid? What communication channels are they active on? Every piece of content should be created with your audience in mind.
  • Keep your branding consistent – Make sure your content ties in with your brand. Whether your brand is uber-professional or quirky and fun, your content should match that tone. Ensure the tone is consistent across all your marketing efforts, including your website, online marketing, email, trade shows, direct mail, and other promotional activities.
  • Set up a content calendar – A common mistake among content marketers is communication drop-off. The team may be gung-ho at the outset, but loses steam after a period of time, causing changes in communication frequency and missed opportunities to connect with your audience. Set up a content calendar with clear deliverables and publish dates. Be sure to set specific goals for each content piece and determine quantifiable metrics that align with those goals.
  • Write, write, write – You can be sure that your audience is inundated with content from multiple sources, including the competition. Make sure yours is worth reading. Your content needs authenticity and relevance, so make certain you are highly knowledgeable about the subject matter. Research original content on topics you think would be of interest to your audience. Clarify roles and responsibilities around writing, editing, publishing and sharing. Determine whether an outside consultant or agency is needed to augment internal staff to achieve regularly posted high-quality content.
  • Share everywhere – Your content can only achieve its desired results if your audience reads it. Determine which channels will be most effective at promoting your content. Keep in mind that oftentimes your content can be re-purposed; for example, a popular blog post can be the basis for a webinar or an in-depth whitepaper. Choose a snappy line from your content piece and share it on social media with a link to the original content. Other creative ways to share content include videos, infographics, e-books and podcasts.

If you need assistance with planning or executing your content strategy, Grow Corporation can help.
As a full service B2B Marketing Communications company, Grow Corp uses effective in-house consulting services, strategy, copywriting and design to build integrated end-to-end solutions that adapt to your company’s needs. We offer strategic input based on our deep business understanding and familiarity with the high-tech and industrial markets. You benefit from our 15 years of experience covering all aspects of marketing communications – alternative strategies, copywriting, design and execution. Our professional and experienced team cuts through the noise to deliver a compelling proposition that meets all your needs. We specialize in connecting the dots between the different messages emanating from the company into one clear, concise and convincing message. For over 15 years, our marketing and strategic advice has helped many businesses and industries, from both start-ups to established multi-nationals around the world. Now, let us help you.

Eight Reasons White Papers are Critical to Your Business

Well, when it comes to producing White Papers, the devil truly is in the details.

White Papers have become a standard feature in the marketer’s toolbox. However, more often than not, these documents are filled with regurgitated, superficial content that is neither informative nor authoritative and says little about the issuing body’s view on the matter.

White Papers are often considered a necessity, rather than a benefit. This approach has negative implications to both prospective customers and partners. A scrabbled white paper does not define the benefit of the offering nor its technical innovation. Such a lack of focus fails to convey the uniqueness and impact of the product or service.

Yet, for all the poor examples, White Papers can play an important role and are well worth the time and effort used to produce them. Writing is a proven tool for crystalizing thoughts and ideas, and the material generated in a White Paper can inform and streamline parallel marketing efforts. White Papers are also a critical component in the customer engagement cycle….an excellent opportunity to move beyond the hype and buzz in order to explain key features and detail unique benefits of their products and services. Moreover, unrelated to a particular product or service, White Papers give the company an opportunity to establish thought leadership.

In summary, the world does need another White Paper, with the proviso that it is solid, instructive and decisive. But questions remain…how can you get started? Which elements must you include, and which should you absolutely avoid?

Download the White Paper

Why We Write, When Nobody Reads – Four Reasons to Invest in Content

“No one reads, so why should we write,” is something I often hear from customers. True, no one reads an entire website or every line of a white paper, but saying that people don’t read is a vast oversimplification and missed opportunity.

The Kernel of Great Content

No matter where you plan to invest your marketing efforts — video, slide deck, tradeshow, website or infographic — it all starts with the written world. The core of most marketing content is text, and the better the text is planned, researched and written, the better the outcome.

The Details (Really) Matter

Prospects expect to consume vast amounts of information about your product or service before making a decision. Impulse decisions may get you in the door, but it takes a lot more to carry a significant purchase across the finish line.

One Champion, Twenty Stakeholders

Complex goods and services typically require the buy-in from several stakeholders, with the number of signatures required on a purchase request increasing exponentially with the size of the deal. Even if one of the signatories has an emotional connection to your brand, the rest need to be convinced the old fashioned way, increasing the amount of information required.

We Write, You Grow

But not just any writing. Professionally-written, to-the-point marketing collateral will make the right first impression, and build trust in your values and quality of your products or services.

Who does your marketing writing?

As a full service B2B Marketing Communications company, Grow-Corp uses effective in-house consulting services, strategy, copywriting and design to build integrated end-to-end solutions that adapt to your company’s needs. We offer strategic input based on our deep business understanding and familiarity with the high-tech and industrial markets. You benefit from our 15 years of experience covering all aspects of marketing communications – alternative strategies, copywriting, design and execution. Our professional and experienced team cuts through the noise to deliver a compelling proposition that meets all your needs. We specialize in connecting the dots between the different messages emanating from the company into one clear, concise and convincing message.  For over 15 years, our marketing and strategic advice has helped many businesses and industries, from both start-ups to established multi-nationals around the world. Now, let us help you.